merger-and-acquisition information service last week withdrew a
report that Apollo Management LP had won an auction to acquire
Regent Seven Seas Cruises from Carlson Cos. for $1 billion.
changing the deal's status, coming amid growing buzz about the
alleged deal in the consumer and trade press, seemed unlikely to
dampen speculation about the possible acquisition or about Apollo's
released word of the deal to CFO.com, a finance-industry Web site,
which, in turn, published it on Oct. 29, stoking a round of
speculative news reports. Mergermarket later said it had jumped the
gun with the report.
Mo Hersi, research
manager at Mergermarket, said the service would reclassify the deal
as "pending," adding that its "announced-deal" status would be
withdrawn from reports to clients and the public.
Mergermarket based its reporting on both company announcements and
"proprietary intelligence" gleaned from bankers and industry
insiders, but he noted that it generally did not report unannounced
deals. He suggested that in the case of an auction, a winning
bidder could emerge but might need to gather additional due
diligence before striking a formal purchase agreement that would
constitute an "announced deal."
Carlson and Regent would neither confirm nor deny last week that a
deal was in the works. "We cannot comment on market speculation,"
said Sam Macalus, corporate media spokesperson at Carlson Cos. Adam
Aron, the travel consultant to Apollo, said, "I can't say a word."
Richard Jansen, managing director and global head of the Cruise
& Ferry Group at DVB Bank, which the report said was financing
the deal, declined to "comment on media reports."
acquisitions in the cruise industry suggest considerable ambition.
In September, it agreed to pay $1 billion for 50% of NCL Corp. It
acquired Oceania Cruises in March for about $850 million. An
acquisition of Regent would add five more ships to Apollo's fleet
and doubtless set off a new round of conjecture on its intentions
in the sector.
contact reporter Lester Craft, send e-mail to [email protected].